The Federal Government has proposed legislative amendments to the Patents Act 1990 to abolish the innovation patent system, following recommendations by the Productivity Commission which it accepted last year.

Along with several other industry groups, the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (IPTA) has been actively lobbying the Government to retain the innovation patent and undertake further consultation to understand the impact abolition might have on innovation, particularly in relation to Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The innovation patent was introduced in May 2001 to provide a second tier patent and replace the “petty patent” system which had operated since 1979. It was created to stimulate local SMEs to innovate, mainly because it can enable a faster and more cost-effective means for protecting intellectual property that may not meet the inventive step requirement.

Second tier patent systems have been successfully operating for a long time in many overseas countries, including China and Germany where they’re called “utility models”. Our firm has helped numerous local clients protect their new and valuable products and so it seems to us that abolishing the Australian innovation patent is a retrograde move.

In the following video produced by IPTA, Australian business owners present their independent views about the innovation patent and the ramifications should it be abolished.

Australian innovators seeking IP protection may wish to give advance consideration to the Australian innovation patent system while it still exists.

Contact MBIP to discuss your options – or 07 3369 2226.